Monday, June 05, 2006

The Game of Me, Not Me; Me, Me; and Not Me, Not Me

Majnum knocked on Leyla’s door.
"Who’s there? "
"It is I."
"Go away. There is no room here for you and I."
Majnum retreated to the forest, meditated for a long time, and then returned.
"Who is it?"
"It is you."
The door opened. The Sufi Book of Life

"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11: 6-9)
I watched a documentary recently about a man who plays with king cobra snakes. The man said he eats a particular plant that is supposed to act as anti-venom. He claimed he’d been bitten 17 times and he has lost several fingers from the poison. Playing with king cobras is now his livelihood which people pay to watch. In the documentary, several boys were being trained in the lost art of how to infuriate a cobra and then try to avoid being bitten.

The presenter of the programme, another cobra enthusiast, was on a quest to find the largest king cobra ever. He grabbed one from a tree. The snake seemed very cross. Is it any wonder? How would you like to be dragged out of your cosy bed?

Frankly, I was bored because I could see the presenter was playing the same old, same old game of "Me, Not Me."

The game of "Me, Not Me" is one where there is you and everything else is not you, therefore, dangerous and out to get you. Nature documentaries always show nature as something outside of yourself which at best is to be admired or revered; and at worst to be feared. The snake presenter was doing his best to convince the audience how dangerous king cobras are and how they can kill a man in minutes. And yet, it didn’t stop him dragging the poor cobra from a tree so he could leap backwards and forwards to avoid being bitten. He then put the cobra in a bag so scientists could get more venom for anti-venom.

I call it a game because in reality a snake cannot harm you. If you get bitten and “die," you’re only going to wake up in another dream and realise that you still exist anyway. You cannot not exist. You also realise you’re still stuck on the same level. So you continue playing the game. You get "killed" over and over again until you move up another level of the game where you see the snake and you as one, i.e., the game of "Me, Me." You can now choose to pretend to play the game of "Me, Not Me" while being equipped with the strategies/knowledge of "Me, Me." What do I mean by this? Here's an example.

Soon after I watched that programme, I went on a long walk in a park. I decided to sit on a bench and admire the scenery. From a distance I saw a dog running. His human friends were tossing a stick and getting him to fetch it. I felt like stroking the dog. The dog changed directions and ran towards me but he didn’t come close enough. "Oh well, be like that then," I thought to myself, "see if I care." Sulk.

Soon another dog ran by but he was too busy chasing a ball to pay me any attention. His human friend, a woman, followed closely behind. What’s the matter with these dogs, none of them want to play with me today?

I got up and continued my walk. I soon came across an obelisk in a space clearing. Amazing. This park is full of lovely surprises. To think I actually went to college here and never explored it properly. I was too busy studying cultural theories to take much notice of the park. Come to think of it, I was like the two dogs too focused on their game to pay me any attention. Oh well, at least I'm exploring the park now.

After I had been walking for ages it felt like I was getting nowhere fast. I think I’m lost. Of course, I’m not lost. How can I be lost when all there is around me are aspects of Me. There’s bound to be another aspect of Me I can ask for directions. Sure enough Me appearing as a man and a woman walked towards me. I asked the man how I could get to the main road to catch my bus. He suggested I keep walking until I get to a clearing and then walk straight ahead. I followed his/My direction and when I got to the clearing, what should I see but my old friend – the obelisk. That’s just brilliant! I’ve walked full circle.

As I walked straight ahead I saw another old friend, the dog who was playing with a stick earlier. I knew it was him because I recognised his human friends. He had a big stick in his mouth. He ran towards me, dropped the stick at my feet, and bowed his head so I could stroke him. His friends asked me if he was showing off and I said yes. Then the dog picked up his stick and ran off.

As I continued walking I came to an intersection. I wasn’t sure whether to go left or right. Who should appear but my other dog friend, the one chasing a ball. He was still chasing his ball. I asked his human friend how to get back to the main road and she pointed the way.

Getting "lost" is pretending to play the game of "Me, Not Me" while knowing I am actually playing the game on level "Me, Me." When I got bored with pretending things were separate from me, I reverted to the next level of "Me, Me"; and aspects of Me appeared to show me the way.

There is another game one can play called "Not Me, Not Me." This means nothing is who you are. So let’s take the example of the snake. Someone playing the game of "Not Me, Not Me," realises that he is neither the snake nor the body, nor the universe. Can a no thing bite a no thing when there is no thing? Who is there to bite? Who the hell is writing this piece anyway?

Life is a game. If you want to play the game where you’re being chased you can experience life as "Me, Not Me." I believe it’s more fun to experience life as "Me, Me," then you’re one with all. In case you feel like a change of scenery, there is always the game of "Not Me, Not Me."

However you play it, have fun!

Love always,
Me, Enocia; and Me, my devoted fans